Learning by Surfing: Issue 2

A gathering of good stuff (health care related) around the web…

Maggie Mahar at Health Beat explores the question, “Can we reach a consensus on what we need to do to achieve meaningful health care reform in the U.S.?”

Yet there are still major issues that could divide reformers: Should we acknowledge that we won’t be able to cover everyone unless we learn to “control costs”? Should we move directly to a single-payer system? And finally, should we try to move quickly, to cover everyone, or should we aim for incremental progress while sticking, stubbornly, to first principles?

Dr. Scott Shreeve on the personalization of medicine:

So lets start this out by talking about the personalization of medicine. This is typically thought of in a genetic sense, wherein people are customizing medications and therapies based on your individual genetic profile. Said in other words, the “Right treatment for the right patient at the right time”. However, most consumers already assume Right/Right/Right is happening, and more likely consider personalized medicine as a type of practice delivery style. This is where the physician knows the patient intimately, their social and demographic context, and the correct diagnostic or therapeutic approach given the patient’s preferences that have been learned throughout the relationship.

Jen McCabe-Gorman was blogging from the World Health Care Congress this week and posted her thoughts on a developing theme: the medical home concept.

The medical home is about primary care. Primary care puts patients “primarily” at the center of the care spectrum.

The medical home is about care coordination. Care coordination is about putting the patient “primarily” at the center of the care spectrum, and then ensuring they stay there as they seek services at different locations.

Unfortunately, “primary” patient-centric, consumer-directed care in the US has devolved into the desperate pursuit of paperwork needed for payment.

Nick Jacobs, CEO of Windber Medical Center, writes how his hospital is able to keep infection rates low at Hospital Impact:

Recently, we once again produced annual infection rates that are well below the average national rate of nine percent. In fact, they are eight percent below that figure. Although I believe that our outstanding success is due to our total and complete commitment to patient centered care, for those of you who are in need of more quantitative substantiation that is less subjective, we decided to provide that for you as well. So, we went directly to the source, our infection control specialist, Carol, and asked her to elaborate on some of the steps that she takes on a daily basis.

The Health Blog talked with a few Democrats this week. They aren’t particularly optimistic of health care reform:

While the candidates talk about plans to cover the country’s 47 million uninsured, some congressional Democrats are, shall we say, lowering expectations.

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